NEW DELHi — Gulfisha Fatima, a student activist who completed 100 days in prison on July 18, is at the center of an online campaign seeking her release with activists and netizens asserting that she was innocent.
Social media users trended a hashtag #FreeGulfisha.
Heard of young Gulfisha from many, who did not just fight against communal CAA-NRC, but also focused on building secularism & gender justice through her protest. Jailed an MBA student & young Muslim woman because she talked about UNITY, while others agendas DIVIDE!?#FreeGulfisha pic.twitter.com/hbayEzIRDT
— Jignesh Mevani (@jigneshmevani80) July 19, 2020
Fatima, a 27-year-old community educator from Seelampur in North-East Delhi, has been behind bars since April 9 in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail under the anti-terror law of UAPA, over the allegation of instigating violence in parts of Delhi in late February. Her lawyer and family as well as activists say the detention is wrongful, and she is being punished “for defending constitutional values and peacefully resisting the anti-people CAA-NRC-NPR project”.
— Fahad Ahmad (@FahadBombay) July 19, 2020
The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) triggered a wave of peaceful protests across India. Muslim women took to streets and began indefinite sit-ins at various places across the country, asking the government to revoke the “discriminatory” law which, they said, went against the secular and democratic spirit of the constitution of the country.
According to the law, migrants from neighbouring countries living in India will be granted citizenship. But it specifically excludes Muslims. Critics say that the law, if coupled with the potential nationwide citizenship test, will enable the disenfranchisement of Muslim citizens. They will be sent to detention centres if they fail to prove their citizenship in accordance with new norms.
It's been 100 days since Gulfisha Fatima is in jail. Booked under UAPA…
One more victim of the Muslim witch hunt the delhi police carried out with the excuse of the Delhi pogrom. We demand her immediate release#FreeGulfisha pic.twitter.com/C2zmLABAkg
— ️Ladeeda Farzana (@ladeedafarzana) July 19, 2020
Irked by the protests, senior leaders and ministers from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in their speeches, exhorted their supporters to shoot the protesters! “Desh ke ghaddaron ko, Goli maaro … ko” became the war cry of the mobs supporting the ruling party. This eventually led to the outbreak of violence in parts of Delhi. The carnage that followed left behind a trail of death and destruction.